Live Your Life Beautifully…

How many of you know that May is designated National Scrapbooking Month? I’m sure many of you do and as such you would expect Close to my Heart to do something amazing.
Well, I wasn’t disappointed and I don’t think you will be either. On the first of May the perfect scrapbooking kit and album package that will allow you to
showcase how you live your life beautifully! The kit comes with EVERYTHING you need to create 10 beautiful
layouts. Record your memories living live beautifully

Do you notice that even the adhesive and journaling pen have been included? So when I say that the kit contains everything to create an album with 10 pages, I was not kidding … literally everything. To make it even better it is sold at a discount,
and you still get options! So let’s talk about what’s included in this album package.

  • 1  post bound grey or D-ring album of your choice
  • 1  permanent adhesive Tombow Marvy Uchida Journal Pen
  • 1  10 12×12 album pages already printed
  • Side protectors Accessories and embellishments
  • Color instructions guide

Normally all of this would cost you $87.10 but for you the cost is  $68.95 (this is a 20% savings!)

Can you imagine what it would feel like to create a 10-page kit in just a few hours with all the  products that come in the kit? If you are like me you are thinking of how awesome it would be! These layouts would also make a beautiful wedding album for a lucky bride. Before I show you all the beautiful pages you can create take a look at the beautiful scrapbook papers that are included in your kit.

and while this photo is good, the actual papers will take your breath away. If you follow me on Facebook you will see many projects using these beautiful papers.

Scrapbook Papers perfect for a wedding

Here are the layouts you will make with the full color instructions when you buy the entire Live Beautifully Scrapbooking Kit. Did you know you could buy the Live Beautifully Scrapbook Kit without the album for just $44.95

and since all the pieces come cut and ready even a beginning scrapbooker can put these layouts together! You can
















click on any of the pictures to reach the link to purchase them.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call or text me.  I am here to serve you!






What is a Focal Picture?

Can you determine the focal point?What are Focal Points?

Artists should understand  how to create a strong focal point in their photographs as well as their scrapbook pages.  Focal points refer to the areas of the artwork that command the viewer’s attention.  Intelligent placement of your main image  can positively affect the overall feel of the page.

In creating a good scrapbook page you need to create the place where your viewer’s eye naturally is guided. This is called your focal point. When you lay out all your photos for an event, choose which one you want everyone to notice. For instance: You are scrapbooking your child’s baptism. You will most likely have pictures of people who attended, the baptismal font or whatever body of water used, etc. Since this is your child’s baptism you may want to have the main focus on your child’s face the moment they come up out of the water. The joy of knowing that for the moment they are completely without sin. This can be done in a multitude of ways.


One way to create a focal point in art is through the use of contrast. Contrast refers to difference. Any type of difference in image will make the photo stand out and thus becoming a focal point. Difference or contrast can come in many different forms.  Color and shape, are just a couple of ways you can contrast.  By combining elements, you can increase the contrast that is created, thus strengthening the focal point. So having the focal picture larger than the other photos on the page, or changing up the matting options under the photo of your child discussed above.


Another way to create a focal point in artwork is through isolation. Whenever one object or element is separated from a group it becomes isolated and so it becomes a focal point. So for instance, If you have a set up photos as in the sketch posted here, by putting the picture you want people to notice in the center, away from the row of smaller pictures it becomes your focal point.


Photos that are placed in the center of the picture plane or near center, will naturally become a focal point. Most of the time, a focal point that is not exactly center is preferred. By placing your photo  just off center, you can create a focal point through placement without changing the feel of the page.


A fourth way to create a focal point  is to use implied lines to direct a viewer’s eye to an object or element. We talked about this when we talked about the Rule of Three.

The Unusual

Another way to create a focal point in scrapbooking your pages  is to introduce an object or element that is unusual to the scene. For instance, you attach your focal picture with 3D Tape so it jumps right off the page. This photo will stand out and demand attention thus creating a focal point.

The Monday Muse – Do You Do Single Page or Double Page Layouts?

Scrapbook Page Map for 3-7 photos

Single page layouts or double page layouts, that is the question.  As I think about the sketch I want to put up today (and attempt to get done today as well) I started wondering how many people use one page layouts.  I find myself rarely doing single page layouts. I think it is because when the scrapbook is open it just seems natural to have both sides be cohesive and a continuation of each other.  I am going to challenge myself this year, and thus, challenge you to create some single page layouts and if you only so single page layouts, I am challenging you to do more two-page layouts.

Scrapbook Page Map for 3-7 photosSo today we are starting with a single scrapbook page where you can have anywhere from 3-7 photos. On the right are three 4″ x 6″ photos. Thinking about this page, is it your thought that all the pictures have to be 4″ x 6″ to work? You can actually divide the photo sizes up so that one is narrower than the others; for instance, use 6 inches across on all your photos, but change the height to 3.5″ followed by 4.5 ” by 6″. You are still achieving the same total surface used in the sketch which is 6″ x 12″ but giving a new viewpoint. If you are working with a the children doing an activity you could take one shot further away, then when you print your main subject is in the lower portion of the photograph enabling the 3.5″ height of the picture to contain the majority of your subject matter.

As for the boxes to the left of the photos, use your imagination to design this section. Maybe you use coordinating papers as decoration, or fill in with extra photos, the lines – third box on the right side is where I will put the journaling first, then size the other boxes accordingly.

Just a reminder, each month I hold a contest for all those who have completed the scrapbook and card challenges and send me a photo so I can share your ideas with others.  Please either text your photo to 801-597-4896 or via e-mail here.  I look forward to seeing how your layout turns out for the Monday Muse Scrapbook Page Challenge.

Motivational Monday – A Sketch with Flowers – Follow Up

Good Afternoon,

So I am curious, how many of you did your work from the sketch and how many were waiting to see what I did with the sketch?  As I explained earlier today, this was done from a scrapbooking challenge I was given to create a page using flowers. I was not contented to just put a flower on the page and call it good so I used the flowers to encircle my Using flowers on a scrapbook pagedaughter’s senior class portrait.  As you can see, I used the two extra flowers at the bottom right to give the photo a sense of grounding instead of floating on the page. I think it also draws your eye from the top left where I put the flower on the strip of paper and guides it to the bottom right where the two “anchor flowers” are located.

While I did this page many years ago I see now I broke a cardinal rule in scrapbooking. I know I say ” there are no rules in scrapbooking” but can you tell me what is missing in this layout?

If you guessed  a title and journaling then you are absolutely right. This would be one of the pages that someone 100 years from now would say “this person looks familiar, but who is it”. This child is actually a great example of how two people can look so much alike – but I will save that for another day.

Having said that, I will have to go pack and add a title and journaling to the page.  Am I worried that adding these important scrapbook elements will distroy the look of the page…not really.  I will try to find this paricular layout and add those elements and share them with you on my Facebook Page. If you have not already liked my Creatively Carol Facebook page please do that while you are there.


Motivational Monday Sketch for Lots of Photos

Monday Motivational Sketches with Creatively Carol

Monday Motivational Sketches with Creatively CarolToday’s Motivational Monday Sketch will work great for lots of occasions but when I look at the sketch, I think this will work great for holiday photos. You can switch out the two 4 x 6 photos on the right and put a large focal point picture like the Christmas Tree or  Thanksgiving turkey and using the surrounding photo spots for the family that is at the event or the different decoration – you get the idea.

I encourage you to give this sketch of 11 photos a try and send me a picture of your layout so I can post it here. You -an also text it to 801-597-4896. You will be entered into my monthly drawing for a free stamp set when you send me your rendition of this scrapbooking sketch.

68% of Women are Lonely, Are You?

Lots of exciting products included in your Close to my Heart Consultant Kit

Do you miss a place to scrapbook with others?Since the birth of social media, we are a much lonelier people. You may have hundreds of friends on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but while you watch your friends post about their lives, kids and such, we no longer “have time” to get together and it is causing more adult women to feel very alone.   In the case of new mothers, it also increases feelings of isolation as their activities now have to be worked about the baby’s schedule.

Now, if you use to go to scrapbook stores and use their craft room you have seen store after store close and now there is nowhere to go scrapbook with other like minded people.  I know how hard it is to scrapbook at home, alone. There is usually no space, and full of interruptions so much so that you decide it won’t work and give it up. This is why I have converted my basement into the “Creatively Carol Craft Room”.

The Craft Room seats 12-14 people with plenty of space to scrapbook, create cards or your favorite craft.  If you don’t currently scrapbook or make cards I am offering two introductory classes to introduce you to the craft and a semi-free monthly crop (bring $10 in canned food for the food bank).  There will be three monthly clubs, one will simply be a buying club where you spend a minimum of $25 a month with a 6 month commitment and receive $25 in your choice of papers, stamps and more.  There will also be a monthly scrapbook layout and a card class. You will find more information on these programs on my webpage Creatively Carol  in the next few days.

I am also offering a NapTime Open Crop.  There is a room of the classroom where children can take a nap and a room for babies as well. Your children will be within earshot in case they need you, but hopefully this will allow you to meet others and get in some much needed craft time. There is even a space where you can leave your project layed out in a box lid so it is just as you leave it the next time you come to play. There is a large TV in the kid’s space with a variety of cartoons etc for their entertainment.

So whether you want some time to yourself to craft with others or need to bring the kids so you can get that time to craft, there is a time for you!

You will also find the craft room stocked with papercrafting tools, a die-cut machine, a computer and printer for printing journaling as well as cardstock, printed papers and embellishments for sale.

Please share this post on your facebook page so others will know there is a place to go to scrapbook. Sign up for my mailing list to receive free projects and news of what is happening at the Creatively Carol Craft Room

Monday Motivations

My motivati1on after fair week was waning a bit, since I said I would post yesterday’s Monday Motivational Sketch later in the day but never made it back down to the office. So here it is! This is a double page 12″ x 12″ layout from CK and we are using some different sized photos than we would normally use, but there are some creative ways to fill those spaces. I am talking about the 3″ x 6″, 4″ x 6″ & 2.5″ x 6″ photos here. You can choose to use photos that fit those sizes, perhaps you caught something in a 4″ x 6″ photo you would rather not have in your scrapbook, you can crop them out in this layout.  Another idea is to use an 9.5″ x 6″ photo and divide into the shown proportions. My inclination might be to leave a small space between the 4 x 6 and the 2.5 x 6  photo to replicate the space between the two pages.

Remember, you don’t have to put pictures in all the spaces with measurements. While you can use pictures in those spaces, you can also add embellishments in those places if it adds to your layout, or even color blocks.

Did you know I hold a contest every month for a new stamp set? Just create the layout, then you can either e-mail the photo to or text your picture to 801-597-4896. Then keep watching the blog to see your layout appear here.  At the end of the month I will post all the layouts and a voting box so you can share the contest with all your friends and they can vote for YOU to win the prize.   So, can you guess what I want you to do now??  Go create the layout!


A Day Worthy of some Green!

Jackson Genealogy - Throwback Thursday

Top of the Morning to Ya.


  I would like to wish all of you a very Happy St Patty’s Day!  I have some roots in Ireland which I can attribute my red hair and fiery temper so I thought it was only appropriate to offer you a bit of green today. Anyone who orders something green on my website today will receive a free gift. If your order is $50 or more, I will throw in FREE SHIPPING!  In order to receive free shipping however, you have to call me with your order so I can take it off immediately or place the order on my website and I will send you a check for the amount of shipping you paid. (doesn’t apply to expedited shipping).

Jackson Genealogy - Throwback ThursdaySince today is Throwback Thursday I thought I would choose my own “Patty” for today. This is my mother Patricia Anne Jackson.  In this layout the background was created with 3″ x 3″ squares with the corners clipped. This is still a relevant way to create a layout whether you use it as a background or in a form of journal boxes.  I wish I had dated the BACK of the scrapbook page so I could see just when I created this page. I want to say it was about 2010 and while I wouldn’t use the letter stickers today, I like the distressed look of the title.

This page also features hidden journaling under mom’s photograph. Contained within is a medical story about my mom that not everyone needs to know about, so hidden journaling works very well in this case.

Do you have an opinion about the elements on this page? What would you change to show your own style? Leave me a comment below and share your ideas!  I will take those ideas and create a new layout with a different photo.

Enjoy your St Patrick’s Day and remember today’s discount so you don’t get pinched!



Chronologically or by Family Unit?


Using Studio J as a SketchI am in a quandary and hope you can help me. I have been scrapbooking for 15 years and  I have 4 children with children of their own. Last year I told you about a great service that I was sending my scrapbook pages to have them all scanned – this didn’t work out very well after all. I could never open the file they sent me. I did finally get all my pages back, and they have sat in the 12 x 12 bags ever since.  I have now indexed each page (so I know what I have already scrapped) but I can’t decide how to put the albums back together.  I have a couple of albums separated… like life before I met my husband, his before me album, genealogy, and my son’s sports & Army albums.  But now I have piles of each of my kids with their kids. This is where I get stuck.  I could do an album for each child/family – but then what about those pictures we are in them too?  Do I put those in the album with my husband and I starting with our marriage?  I just don’t know… what are your thoughts?  How do you keep your own scrapbooks? Please leave me a comment and share your thoughts about putting your scrapbook layouts together.

In The Snow on Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday at Creatively Carol's

It isThrowback Thursday at Creatively Carol's “Throwback Thursday” so I thought I would grab a snowball and throw it back about 8 years to a scrapbook page with  3 of my grandchildren and their parents.  So you ever look back on old scrapbook pages and think “ugg”? This color pallet is not available anymore and I think it is a good thing. The matting color doesn’t make anything pop and while the blue dies match the ground Audrey is standing on, it isn’t doing anything for me now.These papers actually came in a paperpack with the cardstock.

That is the thing with looking back, I love looking at those precious little faces, the trends and my talent didn’t always go together. And while I might cringe at the colors now, it shows how much different my style is now. It shows your development in the craft. Don’t go back and redo older scrapbook pages, they tell a story about how you as a crafter have grown as well as the family story told on the page itself. There is a companion page that has the journaling on it, I will look for it and post it a bit later for you.

I will tell you though, I still love the way these rub-ons look – rubbed right over the photo itself. It doesn’t detract from the photo like writing on the photo does (you know who you are). Makes me sooo glad pictures are digital now so I can go back and try to remove the writing someone thought was a good idea…not!   I also really thought I was clever putting the title on tags… remember when they were all the rage in scrapbooking?

Now it is YOUR turn. Send me pictures of your early scrapbook pages You can also send via text to 801-597-4896 so I can post them on Throwback Thursday.

Motivational Monday -Focal Plus Four

Crystal Ball Layout

Crystal Ball Layout


Tomorrow is my oldest granddaughter’s birthday. Natalie has grown into a beautiful young woman and this layout from studio J is a perfect showcase for a few pictures from the year with a focal picture on the left, just waiting for that 14th Birthday picture.  Motivation is all around you when you are stuck. This layout is found in the Magic How-to Book but was created in Studio J digital scrapbooking program using the Dakota Paperpack. Unfortunately, this paper is no longer available except on Studio J.

Starting in January, I will start a “Back to Basics” scrapbook series featuring the layouts of the wonderful series of How-To books written by Jeanette Lynton.  Watch for a post on organizing your photographs so you can begin to scrap along in January!

Have a creative day,



Motivational Monday -San Diego State University Football

Digital Scrapbooking - Fast and Fun

It’s Motivational Monday so are you ready for some motivation for your scrapbooks? Today’s sketch is taken from the Studio J files. Do you do any digital scrapbooking?  I know there are a lot of people that don’t have the time to scrapbook all their photos, but still want the ability to display their photos in a nice album. Studio J is just the ticket for those times. It is important to remember that Studio J is a limited time product and will be going away for good. If you have a project you want to do, you will want to get started soon because you only have until April to get things all finished.  If you need to be more hands on, and feel and cut your way to a scrapbook page, studio J can also help with layout planning. Take a created layout like the one I have here and then duplicate it in paper. I will talk more about Studio J later this week, but if you want to check it out a bit, I do have a couple videos you might like to watch

Now, what you come to Creatively Carol for on a Monday Morning… Motivational Monday Sketch!

Digital Scrapbooking - Fast and Fun

I look forward to seeing what you do with this sketch for yourself! Don’t forget to enter for a free stamp set by SEND ME THOSE PAGES! or text them to 801-597-4896. I hope this Motivational Monday scrapbook is a template you can use in your own scrapbook layouts.

Motivational Monday – A Sketch from Studio J

Using Studio J as a Sketch

School Template from Studio JStudio J is the digital scrapbook program from Close to my Heart. What’s that you say? You don’t like digital scrapbooking so who cares about Studio J?  Let me share with you how Studio J can help the traditional scrapbooker… LOTS of Sketches! Take this example for instance.  What I wanted was a layout that showcased my two grandsons, James & Kyler Seely at the 2014 Science Fair at their school in San Antonio Texas. What is nice (and worked perfectly) is I can start with this idea, and build it however I want to.  Take a look at the finished layout below the Studio J layout. I moved the two journaling strips to the left to balance the pages and journal the details.

Both boys received the first place Using Studio J as a Sketchaward in their respective grades.  I am so glad there is a grade between them or this could have gotten really ugly 🙂

I removed all the small photos that were under the main photo on the right, added the boys names, ( I should have paid more attention to the size of Kyler’s name. but you get the idea.

Studio J is very versitile for the inexperienced digital scrapbooker that wants to learn, and a great source of inspiration for the traditional scrapbooker.

An extra bonus with Studio J is that it has all the paper packs going back to it’s inception so if you have an old paper pack, you can get some ideas on how to use it.

Do you do digital or traditional scrapbooking. Leave a comment below and let me know!